Celebrating an unsung gridiron hero

Published 8:41 am Thursday, August 25, 2016

Most football teams have certain go-to players, ones that jump out to spectators and coaches alike. These players are vital to the success of their teams and can be a force that strengthens the team and lifts it during difficult times.

There are also less obvious players who most football teams have serving a similar function. They may not grab the headlines, but they are integral to making the team work the way it is supposed to.

One of these unsung heroes for Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity team is senior Quadre Pulliam.

“He has all the kind of the characteristics of a player that you want to see to help you succeed when the going is tough,” Statesmen Head Coach Mark McPherson said. “You have a lot of athletes who are skilled, but when things get down to the nitty gritty and things get hard and things aren’t going your way, you need those kind of guys who are high character people, and that’s what Quadre is.”

A hallmark of high character is consistency and reliability.

“He’s the kid who works all day in the summer and attends every summer workout,” McPherson said of Pulliam. “He’s the kid who works every weekend and comes to practice all week and works hard and is a team leader. He’s one of my line leaders for the exercises.”

Character is a focus of Pulliam’s. When it comes to what he brings to the Statesmen, Pulliam said, “Hopefully a lot of heart, a lot of good plays, just a lot of dedication. That’s my main goal and just to make sure everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do and we can get a whole bunch of wins this year.”

Pulliam derives his motivation from his bond with his teammates and a strong responsibility that he feels toward them.

“It’s being here for my brothers,” he said. “Me being a senior, I feel like I have to pull my weight and provide for my brothers.”

Pulliam serves as a center on offense and a middle linebacker on defense.

“So, he has two very important positions for us,” McPherson said, “two tough positions where he’s going to be in the thick of things all the time.”